Friday Finds — Slowing Down, Community Framework, Power of Surprising Words
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“If you care about being thought credible and intelligent, do not use complex language where simpler language will do.”
We’re heading towards the July 4th holiday here (how is summer going so fast!?) For us that means another softball tournament this weekend followed by some vacation time next week in the mountains. As you’ll see in one of this week’s articles, I’m heading the advice to slow down and give my brain a break by getting outside so I can come back refreshed and recharged. Hope you’re getting a chance to slow down and get outside too!
As always, thanks for reading.
📰 News & Notes
Slow Down, It’s What Your Brain Is Begging For
In our fast-paced society, our brains need a break to balance our focus and daydreaming capabilities. Overwhelmed by work and digital distractions, we're deprived of the mental rest needed for creativity and wellbeing. This imbalance, driven by tight schedules and constant media exposure, leads to chronic distraction harming our mental health and societal fabric. It's important that we regain control, reduce the noise, and provide our brains the necessary respite.
🎯 Take away: It's crucial to consciously carve out time for mental rest and to disengage from the continuous stream of information and demands on our attention.
Surprising words and sentence structure makes your messages more effective
You probably know that I’m a fan of stealing things from the marketing field. This research-backed copywriting tip is an interesting one. Research suggests that mildly surprising copy, which uses unexpected sentence structures and words, can make messages more effective, leading to higher conversion rates. This strategy, confirmed through experiments and analysis of Amazon reviews, advises maintaining a balance in your copy's "surprise score" (ideally between 1.9 and 2.3) to avoid being too predictable or confusing.
🎯 Take away: Use this surprise-level calculator to test your copy. The optimal level of surprise boosted ad CTRs by up to 127.5%.
Use The Four Blocks Framework to get People Powering Your Community
The Four Blocks Framework is a tool designed to help build a strong community. It starts with using story to establish authenticity and foster connections. Next, the story is shared, encouraging member to connect over shared experiences. Relationships are then cultivated and community members are invited to collaborate and co-create, instilling a sense of ownership. The result is a 'flywheel effect', where sharing, connection, and co-creation become self-sustaining, fostering an ongoing sense of community that can be scaled up over time.
🎯 Take away: The Four Blocks Framework is a simple yet powerful visual tool that helps start with people when building a community -- and to reconnect with them when things go wrong.
Huberman’s 4-Step Protocol For Learning that Changes Your Brain
I love Andrew Huberman’s podcasts, but they’re really long and I never have time to listen to the whole thing. Fortunately, Charlotte Grysolle distills Andrew Huberman's 4-Step Protocol for effective learning for us. This method leverages our brain's neuroplasticity, or its ability to adapt based on experience. The process involves creating alertness and focus through the release of specific neurochemicals, epinephrine and acetylcholine, respectively. The protocol is implemented in four steps: establishing a purpose for learning, focusing visual attention, working in 90-minute sessions, and practicing newly learned skills.
🎯 Take away: Andrew Huberman's 4-Step Protocol effectively optimizes learning through purposeful alertness, focused attention, timed work sessions, and skill practice.
Nurtured by Nature
This piece delves into the impactful role that nature plays in human growth and wellness. It elaborates on how encounters with the natural world can lead to improvements in physical health, intellectual growth, and mental well-being. Reference is made to numerous research efforts that underscore the advantages of dedicating time to nature-filled spaces. Submerging oneself in the lush beauty of terrestrial or marine environments promotes intellectual stimulation and emotional elevation. The interaction with nature, no matter how brief, has a beneficial effect on our well-being - with isolated, richly diverse locations potentially offering more pronounced advantages, although even city parks and green spaces hold significant value.
🎯 Take away: Research is advancing our understanding of how time in nature can improve our mental health and sharpen our cognition.
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